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Working with tabs

You can use tabs to position text in specific horizontal locations in a frame. Using the Tabs palette, you can organize text and create tab leaders, indents, and hanging indents. Here you’ll format the information at the top of page 2 using the Tabs palette. The tab markers have already been entered in the text, so all you will be doing is setting the final location of the text.

If necessary, scroll to the top of page 2 until the table appears on-screen.

To view the tab markers in the table, choose Type > Show Hidden Characters, and make sure that Normal View Mode () is selected in the toolbox. If you decide not to keep them showing as you work, choose Type > Hide Hidden Characters.

Using the Type tool (), click in the word “Category” at the top of the table.

Choose Type > Tabs to open the Tabs palette. When an insertion point is in a text frame and there is enough space at the top of the frame, the Tabs palette snaps to the border of the frame so that the measurements in the palette’s ruler exactly match the text.

To center the page on your screen, double-click the page 2 icon in the Pages palette. Because the Tabs palette moves independently of the table, the two are no longer aligned.

Click the magnet icon in the Tabs palette to realign the palette with the text.

Clicking the magnet icon in the Tabs palette aligns the ruler with the selected text.


If the Tabs palette did not snap to the text frame, part of the text block may be hidden from view, or there may not be enough room for the Tabs palette between the text frame and the top of the document window. Scroll as necessary, and then click the magnet icon () again.

Using the Type tool, select all the text in the table’s text frame, from the word “Category” to the number “$110,000.”

In the Tabs palette, click the Center-Justified Tab button () so that when you set the new tab positions, they will align from the center.

In the Tabs palette, position the pointer in the top portion of the ruler, just above the numbers, and then click to set tab markers at the following locations: 24, 29, 34, 40, and 45. You can view the location of the pointer on the ruler in the X: text box (above the left side of the ruler). To precisely set the value, drag in the ruler while watching the X value before releasing the mouse button, or type the value directly into the X value of the Tabs palette.

The value in the X: text box indicates the location of the selected tab.


If you don’t get the tab locations correct the first time, you can select the tab in the ruler and type the location in the X value. You can also click on a tab in the Tabs palette and drag up to remove a tab.

Press Shift+Ctrl+A (Windows) or Shift+Command+A (Mac OS) to deselect the text and view the new tab settings.

Now you’ll set a tab leader for some of the tabs.

Select all the text in the table from “Fall” to “$110,000.”

In the Tabs palette, click the first tab arrow along the ruler to select it so that the leader you create will affect any selected tabs at that tab marker.

In the Leader text box, type ._ (period, space) and press Enter or Return. You can use any character as a tab leader. We used a space between periods to create a more open dot sequence.

Deselect the table text and view the leaders.



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